Smoky Butternut Squash Soup w/ Yogurt & Dukkah

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Easing back into blogging after a long hiatus because you know….life.  Life with my kids, my job that I love, and navigating single mommy life and all its idiosyncrasies.  In a nutshell, getting caught up in the routine and groove of life.  But, I’m reclaiming my time because food is everything to me.  It’s my art.  From its history, it’s journey from farm to table, to the creativity and innovation of food dishes that entice your eyes as well as your palate. 

I’m starting back with this Smoky Butternut Squash Soup w/ Yogurt and Dukkah seasoning for a little bit of Fall inspiration. I’ve used Dukkah seasoning in a couple of my other recipes.  As you can see, it’s one of my favorite seasonings.  Some nights when I get home late and I don’t want to look at the stove because I’m too tired and too hungry, I’ll whip up some Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Avocado slices and sprinkle Dukkah Seasoning on top of my eggs.  Now, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese is great on its own, but adding the seasoning, gives it such a pop of flavor.  Like I can really cook kind of flavor.  You can make your own Dukkah seasoning, which consists of a combination of nuts, sesame seeds, cumin, fennel, and other seasonings.  Or, you can just buy it here.

The soup was a great late-night dinner for me, along with some crusty bread and my new obsession……Better Call Saul.  I binged watched Breaking Bad last year and was told to watch its prequel spin-off.  I’m quite hooked. 

Have a great day everyone!

Smoky Butternut Squash Soup with Yogurt and Dukkah Seasoning//serves 4

 

3 lb. butternut squash (about 1 large squash), deseeded, peeled, and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
3 large garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon smoked sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
4 cups vegetable broth

Optional toppings

1 tablespoon yogurt, garnish
1 tablespoon dukkah seasoning, garnish
Chopped parsley for garnish

 Preheat oven to 425° F.  Arrange chopped butternut squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle squash with olive oil.  Roast 25-30 min or until squash are softened and browned.

 In a large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion.  Cook stirring often until the onion has softened and is starting to turn brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring frequently. 

 Transfer the cooked onion and garlic mixture to a blender.  Add the roasted butternut squash, smoked sea salt, smoked paprika and freshly ground black pepper.  Pour in the vegetable stock and blend on high until soup is thick and creamy. Add additional stock if you would like a thinner soup.  Depending on the type of blender you use, (I used my Vitamix), you may have to work in batches to blend the squash.  Pour soup into bowls and garnish with yogurt, Dukkah seasoning and parsley.  Serve immediately.

 1 year ago

Matcha Spinach Hummus w/ Dukkah & Golden Pea Shoots
Avocado Toast w/ Sun Dried Tomatoes, Poached Egg & Dukkah

Spring Minestrone Verde w/ Pistachio Pesto

Spring Minestrone Soup

Spring Minestrone Verde w/ Pistachio Pesto

Can this soup get any greener?  Spring is around the corner AND it’s been a year since I’ve started this blog.  Wow!  Time does go fast.  A lot has changed personally and professionally for me.  To say 2018 started off with a bang is an understatement.  It’s been quite a journey for me, but I’ve grown, and I am growing still.  What I’m most thankful for is my family and friends (old and new) that supported me through the journey.  I’m reminded of the song from Joe Cocker, “With a Little Help from My Friends.”  Great song.   My passion for this blog has deepened, although I needed a much-needed break to regroup and refocus. But, I’m back!!

Spring couldn’t be more apropos to talk about as it represents new life and new beginnings.  A renewal.  So, in honor of this wonderful season, I made this Spring Minestrone Verde w/ Pistachio Pesto.  It is an adaptation from Bon Appetit’s minestrone soup of the same name.  I knew I wanted to make something refreshing and green for my Spring blog post.  I don’t know about you, but I love green foods.  It signifies health and vitality.  Avocados, kale, matcha, spinach, broccoli and so on.  In this recipe, I use sugar snap peas, regular peas and Tuscan Kale.  Feel free to add your own green medley.  The star of the show in this soup is the Pistachio Pesto.  It takes an otherwise meh soup, to the next level.  Once you’ve added the pesto and topped it with shaved parmesan and crushed red pepper, you will not only have a healthy and filling soup but one with layered tangy flavors.

Oh and don't forget a good crusty bread.  Make sure you slather some pesto on the bread.  You'll want to put it on everything!

Enjoy!

 

Spring Minestrone Soup
Spring Minestrone Soup

Spring Minestrone Verde w/ Pistachio Pesto

soffritto
¼ cup olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
Kosher salt

pesto
2 tablespoons raw pistachios
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup (packed) basil leaves
1 cup (packed) parsley leaves with tender stems
⅔ cup olive oil, divided
½ cup finely grated Parmesan
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock or water
6 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, sliced in half crosswise
½ bunch small Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn
1 14.5-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
1 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 1 pound pods) or frozen peas, thawed
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Thinly shaved Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes (for serving)
4 ¾-inch-thick slices country-style bread, toasted

Recipe Instructions

soffritto
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook onions, leeks, and celery, stirring often, until soft but not browned, 6–8 minutes. Season with salt.

Do Ahead: Soffritto can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill or freeze up to 1 month.

pesto
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Let cool; crush using a small saucepan (you want a mix of sizes).

Pulse garlic, basil, parsley, and ⅓ cup oil in a food processor until a coarse purée forms. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix with Parmesan, lemon zest, crushed nuts, and remaining ⅓ cup oil; season with salt and pepper.

Soup & Assembly
Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high. Cook thyme, bay leaf, and ½ cup soffritto, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. (Reserve remaining soffritto for another use.) Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add sugar snap peas; cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add kale, beans, and peas and cook until kale is wilted, and peas are tender, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.

Serve soup, topped with some Parmesan and red pepper flakes, with toast and pesto.

 

After-Thanksgiving Turkey Stew w/ Whole Wheat Potato Rolls

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This After Thanksgiving Turkey Stew is plain and simple requiring minimal ingredients: leftover turkey, canned tomatoes, sweet potato, green beans and fresh herbs.  If you’re anything like me, I’m usually over Thanksgiving food by day two.  By this time, I’ve either cut up and frozen the remaining turkey or if the mood hits me, I’ll make this Turkey Stew.  It came together rather quickly, which is much needed after laboring over the stove preparing an entire Thanksgiving dinner.  The Whole Wheat Potato Rolls were leftovers from Thanksgiving and added another level of excitement to the mix.  I’ve been eyeballing this recipe from B. Smith’s cookbook for awhile, but I needed the perfect time and inspiration to make them.  They came out tender, soft and moist.  The perfect accompaniment to the Turkey Stew.

You can use what ever you have on hand to make the stew.  I already had cooked sweet potato and I used frozen green beans.  If you’ve gone a little overboard with Thanksgiving dinner (mac and cheese, stuffing, potato salad, pie and so on), this stew is clean eating at its best.  Add quinoa or brown rice for extra fiber if you’d like.  Serve in soup bowls and use the bread to dip up the yummy tomato broth.

Enjoy!

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After-Thanksgiving Turkey Stew w/ Whole Wheat Potato Rolls//makes 4 servings

turkey stew
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups diced cooked turkey
2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
2 rosemary sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups turkey or chicken stock
1 ½ cups green beans, fresh or frozen
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

In a 2-qt sauce pan, sauté onion and garlic over medium high heat until translucent.  Add diced turkey, sweet potato, rosemary, thyme and the stock.  Bring to simmer.  While simmering, add the green beans.  Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Once done, ladle soup in individual soup bowls.  Serve immediately. 

Note: If using frozen green beans, add the last 5 minutes of cooking to avoid over cooking the green beans.

whole wheat potato rolls//makes 12 rolls
adapted from B. Smith’s Entertaining and Cooking for Friends

1 large potato (12 ounces), peeled and cubed
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2/3 cup milk, warmed (105 to 115 F)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cook the potato in boiling water salted water until tender.  Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid, and mash the potato well.  Set aside.

Cool the reserved potato cooking liquid to between 105° and 115° F.  Then stir the yeast and the sugar into the liquid and let the mixture stand until it is frothy (about 10 minutes).  Meanwhile, stir the flours and salt together in a large bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast mixture, warm milk, eggs, melted butter, and mashed potato.  Add 3 cups of the flour mixture and beat for 5 minutes, until very smooth.  Gradually add more of the flour mixture to form a dough.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gradually knead in the remaining flour.  Continue to knead the dough until it is smooth.  It should be soft but not stick. If necessary add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Place the dough in a large greased bowl, and turn it over once to coat the top with grease.  Cover the bowl loosely with greased plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

Grease 12 large muffin cups.  Punch the dough down and divide it into 12 pieces.  Shape them into smooth rounds and place them in the muffin cups.  Cover as before, and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° F.

Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden on top and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.